Cubs vs. Braves: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 78)
CHC (42-35): LHP Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13 ERA)
ATL (46-32): RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
The Cubs sandwiched their losses between two juicy slices of victory* and topped it all with some Javy special sauce to achieve the split vs. the Mets on Sunday. Jon Lester takes his turn tonight in the opener against the Braves. He'll be trying to further distance himself from a run of drudgery (for fans and himself alike). The team last faced Atlanta during the hell week that opened 2019. Lester faced off against Teheran and got a no-decision, pitching six innings and allowing two earned runs. Swanson and Albies tagged him for solo homeruns in that game. Most recently Lester worked his way to a win against the White Sox, going 5.2 and yielding three earned runs. His strikeouts and walks have been fine lately; it's the longball he'll have to avoid to return to form. Freddie Freeman is 6-22 against Lester with two homeruns and ten strikeouts. Nick Markakis has 92 at bats against him and an OPS of .586.
Julio Teheran takes on the task of suppressing Cubs offense. He's a befuddling pitcher. Remember when he was the rumored return for a 2012 Dempster trade that was not to be? Since then, he's slid back and forth between being a one-win pitcher and a three-win pitcher. This year, he's leaning toward the better side of that scale, due largely to allowing fewer homeruns than in previous seasons. Last time out he allowed six earned runs in four innings to the Mets and took the loss. His splits are fairly even this year, but across his career lefties have hit him much better than righties. Schwarber is 4-9 with zero strikeouts and Descalso is 3-12 with a pair of doubles (and Maddon is clearly trying to build him up); I suspect both will start. As a team,
*Laymen sometimes refer to this as the "turd sandwich," but in the biz they call this the reverse sandwich, wherein one puts the bread in the middle. It is the least enjoyable way to eat what is otherwise an ordinary sandwich.
jdrnym 8 hours 50 min ago (view)
All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.
Arizona Phil 11 hours 16 min ago (view)
jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March.
crunch 15 hours 39 min ago (view)
the toles update is worse than his troubled past. toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years. he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.
hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.
Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 29 min ago (view)
Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.
jdrnym 18 hours 32 min ago (view)
Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.
Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 48 min ago (view)
Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.
jdrnym 20 hours 56 min ago (view)
Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?
And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.
crunch 21 hours 20 min ago (view)
though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.
there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.
Cubster 21 hours 49 min ago (view)
"In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."
crunch 23 hours 54 sec ago (view)
it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ. they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.
with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0). now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.
crunch 23 hours 16 min ago (view)
cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.
he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.
he's 38 years old, btw.
Hagsag 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing. also, ha.
Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups?
Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
Well said Crunch.